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A complete history of The Last Guardian not coming out

That's not deja vu you're feeling - The Last Guardian really did get delayed again. Sony says the third project from the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus devs will only needs a few more weeks of work (six weeks, to be precise) to squash a few last-minute bugs. Honestly, it's almost reassuring to witness at this point, like leaves changing color in the autumn.

Just in case you've blocked it out of your memory, or you were born sometime between now and 2009, here's a quick rundown of every time we were told The Last Guardian would come out but then it didn't.

Ok, nobody thought The Last Guardian would come out in 2007 since it hadn't even been announced yet. This is just to establish that the game has been in the works for nine years.

That trailer actually leaked a little ahead of time, but Sony quickly followed it up with the official announcement of The Last Guardian at E3 2009. It didn't provide a release date at the time; we'd have to wait more than a year for that. Seems like a bit of a red flag in hindsight.

The Last Guardian flapped its scrubby little wings right past E3 2010 and thumped down in Tokyo Game Show, where Sony said it would be released in "holiday 2011". They say you never forget your first release date…

...and you definitely don't forget your first delay. Team Ico revealed in April 2011 that it had taken on a little more than it could handle, and that it was pushing back everything on its slate - including the PS3 Ico and Shadow of the Colossus remasters and The Last Guardian. No release date was given, but most folks (including us) assumed it wouldn't slip past 2012. Then we became a bit more worried when word of Team Ico boss Fumito Ueda leaving Sony started circulating in November. It was true, but he stayed on the project as a contractor.

Sony was quiet about The Last Guardian to begin with, and it clammed up even more after missing its first release date. With almost a year of silence between him and the old holiday 2011 release window, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida still refused to commit to a new one in November 2012.

After the quiet of 2012, Sony started talking again in 2013 - for better or worse. First, then-Sony Computer Entertainment America chief Jack Tretton said the game was on "hiatus" in June, but Shuhei Yoshida quickly followed up by saying it was still "alive and kicking in terms of development". Fumito Ueda tempered expectations a bit in August when he said games like Knack were "taking priority" at SCE Japan Studios over The Last Guardian. Woof.

I'd say the quiet of 2014 was an improvement after the confusion of 2013, though there was still news waiting at the end: in December, Ueda revealed that the team was at work "under completely new conditions". Everybody assumed those new conditions meant "on the PS4" and, wouldn't you know it…

Sony's Best E3 Ever opened with The Last Guardian's first live, public appearance in years, which was a huge surprise. Of no surprise was the fact that it was now planned exclusively for PS4. Best of all, it finally had a new release window: 2016. That's still the case, specific days aside!

Sony went for a two-E3-appearances-in-a-row score multiplier in June 2016, and it even did something that it had never done before: put an actual date in its The Last Guardian release date. October 25 was the word, but not quite the final one - the team apparently needs a few more weeks to get the game ready.

If The Last Guardian misses its new December 6 release date (which it shares with Dead Rising 4 and South Park: The Fractured But Whole), well... at least you can look forward to more delay recap articles.

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